Naked Reflections Poetry: Shameless and Unapologetic

Tag Archives: Writing Challenge

Peace Divine

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This is 1 of 5 poems from the March 5-Day Writing Challenge. We had to use words with aural texture that create a unique sound palette. We were challenged with even creating a unique made-up word. Mine is “Prastinktidy” and you can decide what it means after you’ve explored my poem, Peace Divine.

Peace Divine

Panic

Plucking away

Fibers of your smile

Truncating prayers

As undulating heartbeats 

Rattle and trottle your spirit

Masked madmen slither 

Into your dawn to dusk

Spewing 

Botulinum toxins

Over your grocery cart

Your gas station

Your favorite cafe

Your neighbor’s greeting

Your classroom

Your snakeskin fingers

Making your faith in humanity

Oozeebboozeebb clop

And glut in mustard seeds

Then one seed falls

Onto balmy palm soil 

Your hands receiving it

To take root

Savory splendor sprouting

Piquant prayer of praise

Gratitude 

This moment of wellness

This day’s torrential downpours

Cleansing your dirty hurting Earth

This knowing

That God brings peace

In the midst of

Prastinktidy

ElevenEleven (Day 4 of 5-Day Writing Challenge)

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ElevenEleven

I am born of the power and mystique

Of eleven

Born the eleventh day of the eleventh month

11 days before America’s great mourning

Before a ripped nation 

would forever be severed

Born in the eleventh hour and only 120 seconds 

After the eleventh minute

I am born of New Orleans 

Oklahoma and Los Angeles

Of struggle and success

Marriage and separation

Divorce and devastation

I am born of revolutions 

seeking solutions

To injustice and segregation

100 years after Emancipation

A nation steeped in sickness and hatred

Medgar Evers 

President John F. Kennedy

And Four Little Girls

Dead

But of a King who would

March

Speak

Stand 

For equality in our stead

He had a dream!

Will we let freedom ring?

I am born of a distant father 

fighting in Vietnam 

For a country that denied

His dignity because of his color

A father who sent letters

But rarely spent time

At the house he chose for my family

Where 3 bedrooms and 3 baths

Were as easy as warm waffles for us

With hopscotch and laggers

Barbies and Beany and Cecil

I am born of a gifted mother

Who balanced her cigarette on her lip

Like she balanced parenting and parties

A master of words, pools, and school

A teacher who never stopped learning

And made us beg for crossword puzzles

Boggle and Rummikub

A woman scorned but undefeated

Someone who lived with cancer 

Like a warrior 

Adjusted her armor and kept fighting

Until she was ready to be released

Into her ancestors’ arms

I am born of strong legs and working hands

Of bright smiles and freckles

I am born of tears that fall like rain

“As a joyous daybreak to end

The long night of captivity.”

I am born of African kingdoms and royalty

Of the Bantu and the Congo

I am born of a long lineage of power

I am born of God.

November’s 5-Day Writing Challenge: Day 1 “My Nana’s Kitchen”

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My Nana’s kitchen

Jam-packed

10 x 10

Painted in holiday memories

Turkey 

“Help me pull the innards out.”

Stuffing 

“We have to burn the toast first.”

Rice Dressing 

“Use the grinder for the onions and peppers.”

Candied Yams 

“Have you seen my marshmallows?”

Ham 

“Stick the cloves in.”

Green beans 

“You need to eat your vegetables.”

Mustard Greens

“Everyone loves my greens except you.”

Mincemeat pie

“You don’t know what you’re missing.”

Icebox cookies

“Stir the batter the right way!”

Fudge

“It has to melt all the way down.”

And her fizzy foamy fruit punch

Mixed with rainbow sherbet

Pineapple juice

And 7-up

In her antique punch bowl

“You better not break my cups.”

My Nana’s kitchen

Steeped in

Love

Family

Recipes

Life

Where I wondered 

if her cigarette ashes

ever fell into the greens

and the pie

Or if the food stuck to her dress

was from last year

or from when my Mommie was little

Where I couldn’t question her

because it was not appropriate

I had to trust her

because she was my Nana

An Ode to Legs of Long Ago

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You were always beautiful

Even as newborns with folds and creases and extra layers of fat

I am grateful for the quiet ways you carried me

The way you walked the paths set before me

The way you bent and stretched in my youth

The way you opened like polar ice caps

To sexual pleasures and child birth treasures 

You knew what my future held

The life of a teacher who rarely sat down

A mother who would chase little ones

Who would attempt to roller skate

and ride bikes with teens

Who would bake for hours on tired holiday feet

And who would ignore you late at night

As you cried for a gentle massage

I wish I had cherished you more then

When you were the strength and tautness of my roots

When your canvas of caramel coffee

Had no strange blue and green streaks

When your smooth surface wasn’t lumpy and bumpy like curdled milk 

I miss you

Legs of long ago

But I am learning to love the new you

Learning to listen when you’re hurting

Learning to laugh when you slap each other or stick to each other

From the heat that burns within